I’ve never wanted to go to Singapore. To me it has always been a land of fines and corporal punishment. And as a guy who has always lived on the edge, I guess it’s only understandable that I wanted to give it a miss, specifically the threat of caning. To my pleasant surprise, on my visit last week, I realised it was nothing like I had imagined it to be. But hey, with cigarette butts on the street, drunken guys on the road and hawkers you could bargain with, I felt totally at home. I also never dreamt that my first night out at the iconic Clark Quay would be the night they chose to shut power down for maintenance. Load shedding in Singapore? Woot! As a result, we were redirected to an alternate venue. Given that the whole city, including extended family, could be reading this column, and given the fact that two out of three people I’ve told this story to have already been to this place, let me sum up my night out in this Bangkok-like setting in just two words: Crazy Horse.
Bangkok-like: this allows me to jump across the bay and casually mention the unveiling of ‘Bangkok With Love’, a collection by Minnie Menon Jewelry, with a ballet performance by Amla Aina, a Karun Raman-choreographed fashion show and even a pair of cufflinks exclusively designed for the genial chef Rajesh, GM of the Park—the same venue I had stumbled across on a random Friday night, where a band actually walked in and set up at midnight. Full marks to Ryan and the Undercovers—a band you can see only in the blue light of the Leather Bar.
But I digress. Where was I? Ah, Singapore! And Smiggles. A cool, funky designer brand that has captured the imagination of children who want to buy stationery by the school bagful. Oh, and there is a Build-a-Bear, too. Another wallet-destroying franchise that makes you want to scamper back to mommy in Chennai. Strange Lion Fish and Large Island of Entertainment nonetheless, Singapore is no longer the ‘Toyoto Car’ city from the 1979 Kamal-Rajini starrer, Ninaithale Inikkum for me.
And just like that I woke up and September had ended—a dream month for entertainment junkies in Chennai—and we steel ourselves for the October twists ahead.
October 8 | Crowne Plaza
Save the date for the 19th edition of By Hand From The Heart’s Makers Market, that features a line-up of designers, craftspersons and food entrepreneurs. Expect names like Hydes Studio (leather accessories), Kayel (jewellery), Priyanjoli (handloom textiles) among many others. In the food section try chocolates by Cocoatrait and sample cheese by Kase. Today and tomorrow. At Crowne Plaza. Details:byhandfromtheheart.wordpress.com
Race to the finish
October 9 | Japan
If the sudden change in fortunes at the top of the standings is anything to go by, then we are in for a fascinating end to the Formula One season. With just five races to go, Nico Rosberg has raced ahead of his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who suffered a shock engine fire in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Can he gain lost ground in the Japanese GP this Sunday? 10.30 am on Star Sports. Details: formula1.com
October 10 | The Park
If you are still waiting to get your dream tattoo then this is a great opportunity. Celebrity tattoo artist Sameer Patange, who has worked with A-listers like Raveena Tandon, Sushmita Sen, Hrithik Roshan, Daboo Ratnani, and others, will be present at the hotel to ink guests with their desired designs. Till October 12. Details: 42676000
Ramp it up
October 13 | Online
Yet another edition of the Amazon India Fashion Week is here, with over 60 designers set to showcase their Spring/Summer collections. With their concept of India Modern as a theme, the event will start with an opening show that stars Samanth Chauhan, and will end with a unique showcase by JJ Valaya. From October 12-16, in New Delhi. More on P 15
At the movies
October 7 | SPI Cinemas
After Rang De Basanti and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra marks his foray into romance with Mirzya. Inspired by folklore (specifically the tragic love story of Mirza-Sahiban), the 129-minute narrative shifts between the past and the present, focussing on the lives of Mirza (Harshvardhan Kapoor) and Sahiban (Saiyami Kher). The film’s trailer has already amassed over 70,67,983 views on YouTube. Details: 42244224
Graviky Labs turns pollution to art
Scientists from Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii just announced that the Earth has crossed the 400 ppm carbon emission threshold permanently. This landmark announcement proves that time for drastic change and an overall environmental awareness is not just an abstract idea anymore. At a time like this, Air-Ink comes as a breath of fresh air, quite literally.
Graviky Labs, a spin-off from MIT Media Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has created tech that captures soot emissions from vehicles and creates carbon- based pigments, which can then be used to make different types of inks and paints — that is Air-Ink. “Our current focus is to reinterpret environment conservation through fusion of science and art. We aim to develop technologies that have net-positive impact on our environment,” says Anirudh Sharma, co-founder and director of Graviky.
This is how it works. They use their creation, called Kaalink, to capture the emissions from vehicles. The contraption is fitted onto the exhaust pipes of vehicles. The trapped material then undergoes chemical processes and is made into ink. “There are many variables and challenges. Right from figuring out how to operate under different climatic conditions and different types of exhaust pipes to the removal of heavy metals and dealing with carcinogens,” explains Nikhil Kaushik, another of the co-founders.
The paint has so far been used in Hong Kong by seven artists who did a street art project against air pollution.
Their products will be available for purchase soon.
— Anagha M
It is so important to fail. Failure instigates the successful person in you. I’m glad I failed many times as it has only helped me view the environment I work in with more clarity. My journey with failure began as far back as the early 90s, when I dropped out of engineering. It was one of the easiest decisions I’ve ever made, but of course, the consequences were tough.
I sometimes feel that radio is like an orphanage. A place where the shunned and the abandoned find refuge and then learn to steer their lives. When you do a dipstick survey as to how many radio presenters have a degree or formal education after school, there are a few who have medals and graduation pictures, but the majority have dropped out of college and walked straight into a studio.
While some of us radio presenters (academic drop-outs) have considered our stint on the medium as a second chance from the divine, a lot of presenters out there have taken the opportunity for granted. It shows when they are heard on-air and seen on social media. Their false pride coupled with a bloated ego is palpable. These individuals have obviously not respected their own failures, else they wouldn’t sound the way they do both on and off air.
It is so important to balance attitude and confidence, so you as a presenter don’t look like you are the brand ambassador of ego. When this does not happen, you find presenters weeping and ranting when asked to vacate their seats. The very same people sometimes bounce back and become humble individuals, as they would have learnt from their mistakes.
Every radio presenter needs a fall from grace in order to be error proof and have clarity of thought. You can’t be a great mariner if you are sailing calm seas. The same applies for radio presenters, too. Take a step back, introspect and cherish the times when things crashed around you, when you failed. They made you stronger.
See you next week.
— email@example.com .
The writer’s views expressed here are entirely in his personal capacity.